Houston Zoo / Texas Tech University – Master’s of Education in Informal Science Learning
Are you an educator or pre-service teacher that desires to be more effective when taking your students out of the classroom? Or are you a zoo, aquarium, or museum educator that would like to hone your skills, abilities, and knowledge about informal science learning. Then this opportunity is for you. This unique partnership brings the resources and informal science educational opportunities of the Houston Zoo,one of the top zoos in the country, together with the instructional expertise of the College of Education at Texas Tech University, one of the front runners in an innovative approach to teacher training, to deliver a program aimed to train the world’s greatest informal science educators.
Seminar in Curriculum & Instruction:
Nature of Informal Science
May 20 – 26, 2013; Daily 9:00am – 5:00pm
Your Maymester class just got wild! Using the Houston Zoo as a 55-acre classroom, Texas Tech University, in conjunction with the Houston Zoo’s Education Department, has developed a course to provide graduate students with an understanding of informal science education (ISE) instructional strategies through studies of how to communicate science and the research that is carried out at ISEs around the world.
- Course Credit: 3 semester hours
- Location: Houston Zoo
- Course Goals: 1) Identify the processes by which conducting informal science occurs; 2) Define and identify informal science education; 3) Explore and develop materials pertaining to informal science education; 4) Design and develop an informal science education experience; 5) Teach conservation concepts to a wide range of audiences.
- Methods of Instruction: Throughout this course, students will participate in up-close encounters, lectures, discussions, cooperative learning groups, inquiry projects, student demonstrations, modeling, role-playing, reflections, and more.
- EDCI 5306 Syllabus - In Progress
Ready to Apply?
For additional course information and to register, please contact Dr. Patricia Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (806) 742-1997 x316.
Dr. Patricia Patrick
Dr. Patricia Patrick is an assistant professor in the College of Education at Texas Tech University, and has worked with undergraduate and graduate pre-service science teachers for seven years. She has taught environmental science in the public schools for 12 years. Her research includes informal science education, environmental science education and mental representations. She has published Zoo Talk, which is built on the premise that zoos, their staff and exhibits, and visitors speak distinct languages. She has published 14 peer reviewed papers, presented 30 papers, and given over 30 science workshops for science teachers at various state and national conferences.
Houston Zoo Staff
The Houston Zoo staff are well known in the zoo industry for their support and development of conservation, education, and professional development programs. Throughout this course, students will be engaging with a variety of staff from different departments, who are known leaders in their fields of expertise. Many have years of experience in the zoo industry, informal science education, and sit on committees with their peers from around the world within the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
With a growing number of science-based advances and technological developments, a need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduates has grown at a faster rate than universities are able to produce them. Fortunately, informal science education offers hope for addressing this shortcoming. This is especially important given an estimated 95% of lifetime learning happens outside the classroom. In a unique partnership, the Houston Zoo and Texas Tech University plan to develop a Master’s of Education in Informal Science Learning, launching in the fall of 2014. All Fall and Spring courses will be taught online through Texas Tech University, and the Summer sessions will be taught at the Houston Zoo. See below for prospective course offerings.
Projected Program Sequence